Rumor control: Is Busch Gardens a member of the Asheville chamber?

If you’ve lived in Asheville any length of time, you’ve probably heard a variation of the “amusement park rumor.” Off and on for years, there’s been speculation that Six Flags was planning to build a theme park in town. Others have posited that the Biltmore Estate would build some attraction. Gossips have even suggested that Asheville itself is morphing into a carnival of condos, hot-dog carts and castaways, but that’s a different story.

Mountain Xpress heard the latest incarnation this week — that Busch Gardens had joined the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, an indication that it plans a park here.

Not quite, according to James Carter, director of membership sales for the chamber.

“They have approached us several times over the past few years about putting their brochures in our visitors center, and we told them they had to be a chamber member in order for us to hand out their brochures,” Carter said. Busch Gardens sees Asheville as a destination and it wants to market itself here, Carter said. So the company, owned and operated by Busch Entertainment Corporation, a division of Anheuser-Busch, joined the Asheville chamber in January, Carter said. The cost is $335 for a base membership.

The chamber carries brochures from regional attractions such as Ghost Town in the Sky, Tweetsie Railroad and Santa’s Land, but Busch Gardens probably ranks as the biggest, Carter said.

So, that’s today’s rumor control. Have you heard a juicy tidbit that’s too good not to pass along? Share it with Xpress and we’ll check it out for you.

— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor


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20 thoughts on “Rumor control: Is Busch Gardens a member of the Asheville chamber?

  1. Jon Elliston

    Within in the past two weeks, I’ve had two separate Asheville residents swear they saw Steven Spielberg in town. Or someone that looks an awful lot like the famous director.

    One “sighting” was in a downtown restaurant; the other, a puported glimpse as Spielberg drove by in a mini Cooper.

    Anyone else had a Spielberg sighting recently?

  2. Richmond Hill

    Jabba the Hut retired in Woodfin. I’ve seen him a CiCi’s Pizza.

  3. Jason Sandford

    i swear Tom Cruise just winked at me from across the way over at Jolie Rogue.

  4. Johnny

    I saw Chuck Norris down at the Green trying to run Gorilla and he got his pansy Republican ass KICKED.

  5. Rob Close

    i heard spielberg has an apartment downtown, top floor (the one next to subway)…

  6. Ed Gunn

    And I heard that Leicester wants to incorporate, and become larger than the City of Asheville, so that an enormous theme park could be built there. Not possible I’m sure?

  7. We do want to incorporate Leicester but there is already a large theme park in Buncombe County, it’s called ‘Asheville’ … try the infamous Ride of Death across Smoky Park bridge on Friday evenings at rush hour and you’ll see what I mean.

    Steven Spielberg said he was thinking of using it for Indiana Jones 5.

  8. “i heard spielberg has an apartment downtown, top floor (the one next to subway)…”

    I heard that too, and a variation that one of his daughters lives here.


  9. Ralph,

    I used to think of Asheville as Hippy Disneyland, although now it might be Yuppy Disneyland at this point. Maybe yuppy 6 Flags. I’m not sure.

  10. julianj

    I think Asheville would be better described as “yuppy Dollywood”

  11. I think I saw Bill Murray at the Asheville airport last week… hmmm… except a little thinner than normal. Who knows??? ;)

  12. Ashevegasjoe

    I’m pretty sure I saw Brittney at the Trophy Club with her kids

  13. at times I think this entire country is turning into one big ‘amusement park’. often times, I’m NOT very amused …

  14. julianj

    Its hard what to think of a town that is still coming in to its own both economically and socially.
    When I moved here eight years ago Lexington ave and Biltmore ave were like ghost town streets. Boarded up window fronts and tumbleweeds . Now Big Foot lives here , Brittney is back stripping at the Trophy Club…

  15. julianj

    Sorry, I didnt know she had such a fan base here. Why dont you pop into the club tonight and let her hold a dolla.

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